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The Value of Twelve-Step
"Alcoholics Anonymous was created in 1939. It is virtually universal in treatment programs. But alcoholism has risen about 20 percent since then. Between 1968 and 1987, the total number of people who reported alcohol dependence doubled from 7 percent to 15 percent. . . .

"I'm not sure the medical/disease approach is the best approach to addiction. About half the people once alcohol dependent no longer have a problem without treatment. What does it mean that so many people overcome addiction on their own? There is no biological model of addiction that can explain when or if you will quit. Twelve-step programs are selling a set of values, and perhaps they work for people who already have something like those values."

-Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D., author of The Diseasing of America: Addiction Treatment Out of Control, speaking on "The Construction of Addiction" on Nov. 17, 2000 as part of the Perspectives on Addiction Lecture Series of the Faculty Seminar on Science and Society

Fishing for the Truth
"I did not decide one day that the Holocaust did happen. I grew up in a culture-post-War, American and Jewish-where the Holocaust was a given. I grew up with relatives who had survived it and a father who spent time and money bringing some of those relatives to the United States. It would no more have occurred to me to question either the fact or the enormity of the Holocaust than it would have occurred to me to question the fact that I was a resident of Providence, Rhode Island. Or the fact that Ted Williams was the greatest living baseball player, if not, as I happened to believe, the greatest living American. . . .

"As a result, when I first heard about the phenomenon of Holocaust denial, I heard it as an obvious absurdity, as an outlandish thesis that had attached to it a burden of proof requirement so strong that nothing was likely to pass it. That's the way it is with evidence. Evidence doesn't just sit there unadorned and unencumbered asking for your evaluation; it sits in the midst of a structure of belief and conviction that precedes it and colors one's reception of it.

-Stanley Fish, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the University of Illinois at Chicago, speaking on campus as part of the Tenenbaum Conference on Truth, the Law, and the Holocaust on Nov. 2, 2000

Still R.S.V.P.O.d
Professor Ronald Schuchard of the English department, author of the April/May 2000 Academic Exchange essay "Academic Mis-Manners," reports that the RSVP rate for the annual reception for arts and sciences faculty at the Carter Center last fall was 423 responses out of 822 invitations (51.5 percent), compared to 465 out of 860 the year before (54 percent).